Fest Five: Dr. Brad Stone, radio host

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Dr. Brad Stone is a radio programmer/producer/host with over 35 years of experience in jazz radio, at numerous radio stations such as KSJS-FM, San Jose, CA; KKUP-FM, Cupertino, CA; KUCI-FM, Irvine, CA; and WQAX-FM, Bloomington, IN. He currently programs his show “The Creative Source” on the worldwide internet radio platform www.soulandjazz.com based in the UK. He’s happy to be a member of the San Jose Jazz Advisory Board, the Jazz Organ Fellowship Board of Directors, and the JaZzLine Institute Board of Directors. During the daylight hours, he spends his spare time as Professor of Chemistry at San Jose State University.

Once again, there are so many great groups and artists in this year’s lineup that it makes it next to impossible to single out just five (last year I cheated and did 16, but I promised to keep it to five this year…), but here it goes:

Posi-Tone All Stars

Posi-Tone Records is a label based in Los Angeles that specializes in providing an outlet for today’s jazz artists. The label hosts a number of young, up and coming artists who deserve wider attention. Their production quality, engineering, overall sound and artistic merit have led to a consistently great product that has led to a recognizable “label sound.” If you dig straight ahead jazz, but want to hear what living artists are doing with the music today, here is an opportunity to check out six of the label’s fine musicians – each a leader of his own. The showcase will consist of three sets: trombonist Michael Dease and drummer Steve Fidyk; guitarist Will Bernard and organist Brian Charette; trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and tenor sax man Doug Webb. Friday night!

Wally Schnalle’s Idiot Fish 3

Bay Area favorite Wally Schnalle, drummer, composer, and electronics guru, brings his high-powered trio format Idiot Fish to the stage on Sunday. San Jose’s own master guitarist Hristo Vitchev and Santa Cruz’s versatile bassist Dan Robbins round out the trio. If your taste in jazz leans towards the modern, “fusiony” side – then this set is a “can’t miss.” I’m sure they will be featuring some sublime tracks from their new album “Idiot Fish 3”.

The 8th Annual Jazz Organ Fellowship Tribute Honoring Ronnie Foster

The JOF Tribute is back with the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest this year!! I’m delighted that we will be bringing this great event back to San Jose. This year, Ronnie Foster will be the focus of the tribute. San Francisco based organist Wil Blades will be opening things up for us – and as usual, we will be inducting artists into the JOF “hall of fame.”  As always, I anticipate a jam session or cutting contest at the end – as who knows what other organists will be in the audience??! Sunday night!

Denise Donatelli and Friends

Vocalist Denise Donatelli will be in town and performing at the festival once again this year. We’re delighted to welcome her back. Denise is a two-time GRAMMY nominee for Best Jazz Vocalist, and it is easy to understand why, given her recent releases on Savant Records. A wonderful singer with perfect pitch and superb expression – she has never been one to simply rely on “singing the same old standard standards.” Instead, her repertoire has included wonderful songs by great songwriters that are more obscure, or by more obscure writers, often from outside the jazz realm – with new, complex arrangements. Accompanying her Saturday will be drummer Jae Sinnett, from Virginia (who has released multiple albums himself), the wonderfully lyrical pianist out of Sacramento Joe Gilman, and bassist Dan Feiszli. If you haven’t seen her before, my recommendation is: don’t miss her and this wonderful trio.

Miguel Zenón Quartet

Winner of both the MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships (a prodigious intellectual feat!) alto saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenón returns with his quartet to perform his compelling compositions. Rooted in his Puerto Rican background, this musical performance will be intense, powerful, highly melodic and exquisitely played. His past appearance at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest drew rave reviews and standing ovations. Sunday!

Click to check out the SJZ Summer Fest 2016 lineup and purchase tickets now!